Vive la France!

Vive la France!

Welcome to my blog -- follow us as we travel around France.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Provence to Languedoc

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Last night a little storm blew through – some thunder, but quite a distance away.  There was a brief cloud burst, but not a lot of rain.  This morning there were some dark clouds, but mostly sunny.
Today was moving day.  We got up at 7:00 and after breakfast we finished our packing.  It seems like we have a whole lot more now than we started out with.  Louis & Cathy came at 9:30 as arranged, so we could settle up.  They gave us back our security deposit, which we gave them in cash.  They are such nice people and we enjoyed visiting with them.  Louis speaks good English and Cathy speaks a little English.  I spoke to them in French, supplementing in English as necessary, which was quite often, and Louis translated for Cathy.  I know I didn’t always use the correct tense of verbs, but they seemed to understand me.  And, I think Cathy appreciated my effort.  Louis gave us a tip for a better route to get to Pezenas, which worked out very well, and we were on the road by 10:00. 

We asked Louis about the little snails -- they are not the ones that are eaten here.  Last night as I closed the shutters from inside my room, 2 salamanders fell into the room.  One stayed on the window sill and scurried back outside, but the other fell onto the floor.  I sure didn't want it in bed with me, or deciding to hitch a ride in my suitcase, so I got the broom and swept it out the front door, but not before it lost its tail.  I hope it doesn't have trouble growing a new one.
The drive was easy.  Traffic was pretty heavy, and we had to navigate around Nimes on surface streets to get to the A9 autoroute.  As soon as we got into Languedoc, we were excited to be coming back – we noticed a lot of changes as well as a lot of things that were the same.  The big difference is the foliage – when we arrived in early April 2005, the trees and grape vines hadn’t leafed out yet, and now the grapes are being harvested and some leaves are starting to fall from the trees. 
We stopped on the autoroute for a quick sandwich.  We arrived in Pezanas around 1:30, and the first thing I noticed was a McDonald’s – it wasn’t there 5 years ago!  Saturday is market day, and they were just starting to put things away when we got there, but we were able to get some lettuce, a melon, cauliflower, pears, and some flowers.  We walked down the little pedestrian street to see what had changed.  The little olive shop is still there, but was closed (we were friendly with the woman who runs it & hope she’s still there).  The internet café is gone, but there’s a different one down the way.  The quilt shop is still there as is the pottery shop, but both were closed.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see the shop that sells the Southwestern French decorating fabrics where we bought the material for the tablecloth, napkins, and placemats Mom made.
We found our way to our village with no problem, but the light on the pharmacy was turned off & I missed the turn to our road.  Pharmacies in France all have neon green crosses on them.  We quickly found our way and got to the house.  It hasn’t changed too much.  The owners have put in a new main bathroom, but otherwise the décor and furnishings are about the same.  The pool is uncovered this time, but I don’t think it is heated, so I doubt that we will swim. 
It was quite windy when we arrived this afternoon, and we hope it isn’t the start of  3, 7, or 9 days of winds.  The winds here cycle in 3, 7 or 9 days, but always bring clear skies afterwards.
After we unloaded the car, we headed up the road to the Hyper-U supermarket in a town about 10 km north.  As we learned a week ago, Saturdays are not the day to shop.  It was really busy and the kids were all tired and cranky, as were we.
In France, you have to put a 1 euro coin in a slot to release the lock on the grocery cart (they are all locked together).  When you return the cart, you put the lock back on, and the coin is released, so you can use it next time.  It’s a pretty slick system and keeps the carts from disappearing.  The carts are also corralled under cover, so they stay dry.  Safeway can take a lesson here!
We also bought gas, though I still had half a tank.  Gas can be difficult to get on Sundays if you don’t have the “chip & pin” debit cards, which are used here rather than the strip cards we use.  We were paying 1.11 euros a liter in Provence, and here it is 1.09 euros/liter, which is only 0.10 cents more than we paid at the same gas station in 2005.  So, gas prices here haven't gone up proportionately as much here as in the US.  We’re still paying about $4 + per gallon, though.  These diesel cars get excellent gas mileage.
We had a little problem this afternoon when I was putting the bed lifts under Mom’s bed.  I got 2 of them on, but when I put the one at the head of the bed, the headboard came off the bed frame – not good.  What to do?  The caretaker lives close by, but doesn’t speak English, but I called him anyway, and explained that we had “une petite probleme” relating to “un lit” (bed).  He came right over and fixed it.  A very nice man and the same one who came over when the breaker blew the last time we were here (at least now I know what button to push to reset it).
I couldn’t get connected to the Wi-Fi tonight, so will try again in the morning.
We had ravioli and salad for dinner tonight.  We’re both extremely tired and since tomorrow is Sunday, no alarm clock – we’ll sleep in.  We probably won’t go far tomorrow – might even stay home as we have a pile of laundry to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment